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Bringing booze to parties

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  • Bringing booze to parties

    This'll be my first DC, and first major trip to the US.

    I'm keen to head to plenty of parties etc, and socialize as much as possible. And i've ready about bringing booze to parties? What's the deal with this? Is this...allowed/required/suggested etc?

    I don't wanna be that guy who rocks up and mooches, so am more than happy to bring plenty to a party, but i thought some parties were at bars etc, so they'd already be serving, and likely you'd get booted/denied entry?

    Just wanna know, as the 2 cons i've been to, you don't take anything to parties, you just buy it there from the bar.

    Cheers folks

  • #2
    First rule: each party is different, and if you do not know, ask the people inviting you to the party if bringing booze would be encouraged, allowed, discouraged or forbidden.

    Beyond that basic rule? Suggestions:

    Generally speaking, with parties at bars or restaurants, bringing booze from outside will cause problems from simple perceived insult (what, is my booze not good enough for you?) to fees (corkage fees or similar fees for bringing booze from outside) imposed on the person throwing the party -- an unexpected expense. These parties generally have three options for booze:
    * Open Bar (usually with corp sponsored events, like those looking for talent, or restricted, private parties.)
    * Granted drink tokens (limited) for one or more free drinks, but not unlimited (can be sponsored events, or rich benefactors wanting a party for their friends)
    * You pay for your all your own drinks, often at inflated prices.

    Next, there are parties that take place in hotel spaces, which are broken into two groups:
    * Parties in DEF CON controlled space
    * Parties outside DEF CON controlled space

    For the parties outside of DEF CON space (Toxic BBQ, for example) they have their own policies/rules. IIRC, the toxic BBQ takes places in a public park, and they get a permit, but part of that permit process requires no glass bottles, so they ask attendees to limit the drinks they bring to those in plastic, or aluminium containers, but everyone has been encouraged to bring and share whatever they want, as long as their permit allows it. You should check with them to find out what policies they may have this year if the Toxic BBQ is going to happen.

    Parties that take place in people's hotel rooms are *usually* very informal, where people bring their own booze if they want to drink, and a small amount of booze may be available at the party. Access to it may require you to be liked by people with booze enough to offer you some, even if it is another person invited to attend that brought booze with them to the party. If you do not know anyone, and you manage to find yourself in one of these private parties in a person's hotel room, you should not assume you will get free booze. For these parties, you would more likely know the people throwing the bash well enough to know if they would want you to bring booze for yourself and others, or if they are paying for it. As these hotel room parties move up to "penthouse suites" the chances for corporate sponsorship increases.

    For Parties in the DEF CON controlled space, the *hotel* may demand that you do not bring booze from off-site into the hotel, including the DEF CON controlled space. The hotel does have the capacity to ban people from the premises outside of any control of DEF CON, and they have their own rules. Their motivations are multi-part:
    1) Profit
    2) Unions (keeping bartenders and service people employed)
    3) Maintaining their license to serve booze
    4) Not being blamed for under-aged drinking
    5) Maybe risk to their status with any gaming commission
    *) more

    Like with any attempts to exploit systems (hint), there are risks and consequences. Consider the above if you do plan to bring booze from off-site -- you do not want to get caught bringing booze off-site and serving it to a minor, and you should be reminded that the hotel has a great deal of surveillance. (From their view, their continued existence is at stake, so this is likely viewed as a life-or-death struggle. Recognize how important they view this to understand how much effort they may put into finding examples of abuse before you make any decisions.)

    My opinion on this does not matter -- it is not my hotel.

    I am not telling you to not bring booze from off-site -- I have ZERO control of things at DEF CON and I make no policies at DEF CON. Whatever you do in this space, please be careful. :-)

    Other parties (like if there is an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting) will have their own rules like "no booze" even if they take place in the DEF CON controlled space.

    Generally speaking, for parties in the DEF CON controlled space, based on the past, there will be bars outside the party space which are shared... imagine a kind of portable bar about 10 feet long on wheels, rolled into a spot in the hallways between a few rooms with parties, where people leave a party to buy booze, then re-enter the party. Some of these parties may also have these same kinds of bar tables in the same room. It is very likely that ALL of these bars will be run by hotel employees.
    As a "ferner" (foreigner) if you are from nearly anywhere else, and have never been to the US, realize it is mostly normal in the US and in bars and restaurants for bartenders, servers, etc to show you the bill, and expect you to place your credit card in the bill folder, where they take it from your physical custody, and sight, run your card, and bring back a bill for you to sign. This is quite different from many parts of Europe and elsewhere; your card never leaves your custody, and they bring a scanner to you for you to scan it. For these portable bars in the hallways, you may lose physical custody of your card, but you should be able to see it for the whole time.

    It is safer to use cash at DEF CON.

    Last edited by TheCotMan; July 18, 2015, 17:27.


    • #3
      Awesome, cheers CotMan :)


      • #4
        Someone sent me a PM asking permission to bring booze to a party. No -- I am not hosting any parties, nor am I running anything at DEF CON.

        I'm reporting what I mentioned above:

        I have ZERO control of things at DEF CON and I make no policies at DEF CON.
        I need to be clearer and type it again: I set no policies at DEF CON. The above information is based on past DEF CON, and risks that I have seen on topic of booze at DEF CON. The first rule at the top is the most important:

        Originally posted by TheCotMan
        First rule: each party is different, and if you do not know, ask the people inviting you to the party if bringing booze would be encouraged, allowed, discouraged or forbidden.
        The people hosting a party (those with authority to invite people) should be the ones to know about any rules related to booze. Will they be out cash for corkage fees? Do they have a contracts they must abide by? If you are looking to have the least amount of drama, that is the safest path.

        Last edited by TheCotMan; July 22, 2015, 04:41.


        • #5
          Should you and I end up at a party, please feel free to bring booze.

          At other functions, more creative ways to bring booze include

          Big Gulp 44 Oz
          Gatorade Bottle

          That being said, as Cotman suggested, each party if different. What you bring for yourself is sometimes different in what you bring for others.

          As a first year, keep some in your room, and just enjoy. Reach out and say hello. If things go well you will end up back in your room, draining your booze with 30 of your new friends, some random las vegas folks, hookers, blow, well you get the picture. Or at the very least - you might meet some new lifelong friends.

          +++ Dallas +++


          • #6
            I remember (vaguely) that a garden sprayer worked out well for some
            If a chicken and a half, can lay an egg and a half, in a day and a half... how long would it take a monkey, with a wooden leg, to kick the seeds out of a dill pickle?


            • #7
              Someome coming to Defcon who wants ot know how much booze to bring and how to hand it out? There is hope for the future after all.


              • #8
                Originally posted by astcell View Post
                Someome coming to Defcon who wants ot know how much booze to bring and how to hand it out? There is hope for the future after all.

                Drink All The Booze...:)


                • #9
                  ... hack all the things
                  "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                  - Trent Reznor


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                    ... hack all the things

                    FINALLY! :D


                    • #11
                      If you are going to private hotel suite parties, bring booze. It can not fail. If there is a queue you have good chances to cut it if you show the booze. Leave the booze at the bar.
                      What I have learned from defcon parties (defcon 6 and forward) is that private parties always are out of beer and red bull. It always warms to see a bartender starting to cry of happiness by bringing more red bull. :)


                      • #12
                        At one time I used to bring chips and salsa. And not the cheap brands either. It's expensive stuff and no one likes to hve to buy it. Extra cheese and guacamole dip too. But booze is always good. And yes LEAVE IT. I have seen parties where folks bring booze, then when they leave they collect it all up! Bad form!


                        • #13
                          Hrmn. 'No outside drinks' in the conference area? How am I supposed to tip the goons with a bottle of burbon?
                          Last edited by Nalez; August 6, 2015, 10:41.


                          • #14
                            Goons are no longer able to partake in booze while on duty. OffDuty....
                            +++ Dallas +++